70 Nonprofit Trends for 2015
Allison Porter, president, Avalon Consulting Group
4. Donor analytics are a best practice. Analytics used to be a nice add-on if you had some money left in the budget to get a better read on your program and donors. But now, with the case for donor analytics so well-established, analytics are an indispensable tool for strategic planning, smart targeting and even creative development. Now that more nonprofits employ analytics, we know that they are essential to good fundraising and are no longer an optional competitive edge. This is a tall order — effective analysis requires a commitment to data hygiene, specialized statistical and interpretive knowledge, and a purposeful strategic-planning loop that both incorporates new information and establishes priorities.
Carl Bloom, chairman, Carl Bloom Associates
1. We have seen an improvement in fundraising performance as we have come out of the great recession. Since we deal with cultural organizations, health care, advocacy and other fields, we are looking for larger than average size gifts. This November we have seen a dramatic increase in size of contributions — a good many in places that have had large increases in wealth.
For example, it was interesting to learn that because of the U.S. becoming a big supplier of old and natural gas through fracking, a lot of people who were of modest financial means became wealthy overnight. Farms and cattle ranches are being leased annually by the big oil companies, who are exploring for more energy resources. Some of these newly rich are handing over huge checks (like they don’t know what to do with their money) to certain nonprofits they couldn’t afford to support before. Other places where successful high-tech development is making new millionaires of employees are showing better response and revenues.
So going into 2015, fundraisers should look the country over and try to go where the rich are getting richer, and some in the middle class and below are becoming rich. At the same time as we observe that, the middle has been reduced with the resultant large disparity between them and the 1 percenters.